I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a concept I was taught years ago through a ministry I was serving in – the concept of being and energy giver.
Awhile back, I made a routine trip through Costco
, carefully organizing who would be the food guard (the kid who sits in the back of the cart), the sample spotter (the kids who sits in the front of the cart), and the helper (the kid who walks along side and helps grab things from the shelf). We got our groceries, sampled some samples, and proceeded to checkout….and suddenly I was in MOPS
mom heaven. The checker praised me over and over for the good job I did in shopping – how frugal I was, what good food choices I made (healthy), etc. I walked away feeling so empowered. But that wasn’t all. On the way out the door, the receipt cop, gave all my kids a pep talk on minding their mom and being good helpers, so on and so forth. What?! Did Costco
have a “Encourage Your Local Mom Shopper” convention? It seems so silly, but I left the store feeling like a good mom. Same thing has happened the last few times I’ve been to the doctor’s office. Honestly, when you have to take four boys to the doctor at once, there is nothing like a pat on the shoulder from your pediatrician as he tells you what a good job you are doing, and how great your kids are!
Contrast that with a visit to another store, just a few days after the Costco trip. I really was struggling with the kids to get them through the store. I needed food, but ended up leaving with apples and one other thing. I couldn’t even think. When I got to the check- out line, the checker was rude and continuously getting onto my kids for every little thing. They weren’t really being bad, just annoying. I was so stressed about keeping the checker from being mean, that I found myself coming down overly hard on the boys. Honestly, I was cranky the rest of the day. I left the store feeling like a failure.
Now really, my feelings are my responsibility. I need to take them to the Lord – good or bad, and let Him adjust my attitude. But the point I’m making is the simple way we can make or break someone’s day by our attitude in passing. We were at the checkout stand for five minutes, but I left feeling like a failure. It would have only cost her five minutes of grinning and bearing it (giving us grace) for me to leave with a whole different attitude. But those five minutes, instead, sucked the energy straight out of me.
On the morning originally wrote this, a cranky individual, who is obviously not a morning person, just about zapped all my energy right before a big MOPS meeting I was in charge of. I really had to get on my knees before I faced anyone else and get myself back in the right frame of mind to give energy to others that had just been sucked out of me.
I don’t mean to pick on anyone else. I’m equally as guilty. When my attitude flares, I can drain my whole family in five minutes flat. The thing is, sometimes our message is valid. But we often can convey the same message in a way that shows concern for the other person involved, rather than just vomiting our feelings all over them.
I feel I’m rambling a bit. This is a blog. But what I’m getting at is that some are energy givers. They just light up the room when they walk in. They make their encounters with others count, even when brief. Others just waste energy. They don’t take it, but they don’t give it either. They don’t make anyone’s life better or worse. Others just suck the life out of everyone they meet. It’s all about them.
In Biblical terms, Ephesians 4:29 says it best:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Our actions and eye contact often convey as much as our words, and our goal as believers should be to build others up according to their needs. I want to be an energy giver. That means I need to continuously be seeking to know the needs of those around me and be doing my part to build them up – in word, action, attitude, prayer – giving life to them, motivating them to be all God intends them to be. Every encounter counts….even the mom you pass in the grocery store!